Care Ethics Otherwise: A Conference

Care Ethics Otherwise: A Conference

Call for Papers

Care Ethics Otherwise: A Conference
June 9–10, 2023

at Penn State University Park

This conference is an invitation to deeply consider previously underexplored approaches to examining and practicing care ethics and care theory. It is organized around a call to actively decenter understandings of care rooted in white, bourgeois, heteronormative domestic/kinship norms and practices—in other words, a call to think care and do care ethics otherwise. By this the organizers mean (at least) two things. First, we are looking to the margins, to the underground, to unconventional domains to invite reflections on care from those who are regularly othered or experience themselves as “the other.” Second, we are motivated to create space with a focus on reimagining and remaking care ethics otherwise we risk neglecting important opportunities to grow care ethics in new, more inclusive directions. Thinking on care has followed multiple genealogies and flourished across, between, and beyond academic disciplines; accordingly, this conference will be interdisciplinary and open to participants working both within the academy and beyond it.

The conference will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, on Penn State’s University Park campus, June 9–10, 2023. We plan to run only one panel at a time, starting at 1:00 p.m. the first day and 10:00 a.m. the second, and ending by 6:30 p.m. each evening. There will be 20–30 minute breaks between sessions and an extended break for lunch. Our hope is that such pacing encourages participants to attend the bulk of the conference sessions, and that it will be an intimate, convivial, and generative space to push the boundaries of one another’s engagement with questions of care. We will emphasize accessibility, provide a quiet space, and have ASL interpreters for the keynotes. Attendees will mask while indoors (unless eating, drinking, or presenting) and test for Covid before entering the conference space.


Martin Manalansan
Sami Schalk
Jina Kim
Jess Waggoner 

Conference organizers plan to put together an edited volume of new original contributions, drawn in part from papers presented at the conference.

Possible paper topics include but are not limited to:

  • racialization, anti-Blackness, and care labor
  • perspectives on care ethics developed from Black feminist scholarship
  • care ethics and decolonization
  • approaches to care ethics focused on addressing structural and institutional oppression
  • care, vulnerability, precarity, and state abandonment
  • biomedicalization, wellness, medical access, and care, especially for LGBTQIA+ folks
  • care ethics and trauma-informed care
  • decoupling care and love
  • the relationship between care and contempt, anger, and indignation
  • friendship, queer kinship, and care beyond the nuclear family
  • care, polyamory, and non-monogamy, including the relationship between care, jealousy, and compersion
  • care, sex work, and marriage/family abolition
  • care ethics, prison abolition, and transformative justice
  • anthropocenic catastrophe, grief, ecology, and care
  • geographies and geopolitics of care
  • care, dependency, and disability justice
  • care beyond human worlds
  • anonymity, proximity, and questions of responsibility in care ethics
  • global care chains and marginalized care workers
  • care and mutual aid
  • tech, care, and technologies of care
  • Indigenous approaches to care ethics
  • the relationship between care, non-violence, violence, and self and community defense

Please send 350–400 word abstracts (including title) by April 1, 2023. We will notify folks by April 15, 2023.

Conference Co-organizers

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Dickinson College
Director, PIKSI-Rock
Joyce L. and Douglas S. Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute
Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Philosophy
Penn State
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bioethics, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
2015-16 Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellow